Signs You May Have Furnace Damage
In general, if you have a furnace that is more than 16 years old it is likely that it is going to have some defects. If you have a new furnace don't get comfortable and think that it can't happen to you. Even a furnace that is reasonably new can still break down if the right conditions exist. Cracks and signs of corrosion throughout the furnace body (and especially in the pipes) are obvious indicators that you have a problem with your furnace, but you also need to watch out for less subtle symptoms like a sudden change in the smell of the flame. This can be a sign of a problem that requires immediate attention.
Likewise, large amounts of soot building up around the furnace isn’t exactly what you would call “normal”. Yes most furnaces and other heating devices regularly accumulate dirt and grime but a sudden jump in accumulation could indicate a problem. These dark traces of carbon buildup can actually mean that there is damage to the furnace’s heat exchanger or a malfunction in the burners. What constitutes a “normal” accumulation of soot may vary from one furnace model to another, so it’s best to treat any soot buildup with suspicion. Regular maintenance will help you and your technician become familiar with what is normal for your particular unit.
Flickering flames are also possible symptoms of a faulty burner and/or heat exchanger, although such a sign could also mean that the furnace simply needs to be cleaned. Regular maintenance is very important to the efficiency of your furnace. However, if any member of your household suffers from nausea, headaches, or disorientation, take it as a sign that the furnace might be emitting harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide by way of the cracks in the heat exchanger. Call someone immediately, open the windows to air out your home and leave until it can be checked out.
Make your home feel warmer this winter without turning up the heat, and save money on your heating and cooling bill!
We have some tips that can help you do just that!
Tidy the gutters
Once autumn arrives, remove the leaves as well as
various other debris from your the gutters so that winter season’s rainstorm and thawing snow can easily drain. Clogged drains may form ice dams, where water backs up, freezes and then when it thaws allows water to seep into your home. As you are hosing out your gutters, inspect them for punctures and misaligned fittings and gaps.Additionally, make sure the downspouts are carrying water far from your house’s foundation, where it might result in flooding or different water damage.
Wrap Your Pipes
A broken pipe caused by a winter season freeze could possibly lead to other problems and a large bill to repair.. Make sure that the water to your tube is shut off inside your home by means of a turnoff
valve, as well as being sure that the lines are drained.
Then, go seeking other pipelines that are not insulated, or that traverse unheated
rooms, as an example drains that wipe out crawlspaces, cellars or car ports.
Cover them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation,
accessible at DIY stores.
If you want to protect these areas further and freezing pipes are a great concern where you live, you may wrap it with heating tape.
What if it’s too late?
During an extended cold spell, your pipes can freeze, even if you take all the proper
precautions. If you think you know where the freeze occurred and and want to try
thawing it yourself, the easiest tool to use is a hair dryer with a low heat
seating. DO NOT under any circumstances use an open flame. Using the hair dryer,
wave the warm air back and forth along the pipe. DO NOT heat only one spot on
the pipe, as this can cause it to burst. If you don’t have a hair dryer, you can
wrap the frozen section with rags or towels and pour hot water over them. It’s
messy, but it works.
Be very careful when heating the pipe. It may already be broken and just not leaking
because the water is frozen. When you thaw it out, the water could come gushing
out. Be ready to run for the master shutoff valve if necessary.
Turn down your water heater
Many traditional water heating units are set to 140° F by installers, however a lot of homes do not need that much hot water or with small children could in fact be a safety hazard.
Reducing the temp to 120° F or lower can reduce your water heating prices
by six to ten percent.
Mind the thermostat
It’s easy to forget to turn down the thermostat when
you leave the house, yet doing this is among the most convenient ways to
conserve money. The majority of homes spend between 50 to 70 % of their budget
on heating and cooling, so you should use only what you need when you need it.
Choosing and Programming a Programmable Thermostat
Most programmable thermostats are either digital, electromechanical, or some mixture
of the two. Digital thermostats offer the most features in terms of multiple
setback settings, overrides, and adjustments for daylight savings time, but may
be difficult for some people to program. Electromechanical systems often involve
pegs or sliding bars and are relatively simple to program.
When programming your thermostat, consider when you normally go to sleep and wake up.
If you prefer to sleep at a cooler temperature during the winter, you might want
to start the temperature setback a bit ahead of the time you actually go to bed.
Also consider the schedules of everyone in the household. If there is a time
during the day when the house is unoccupied for four hours or more, it makes
sense to adjust the temperature during those periods.
Insulating your attic room might cost you a little bit in the beginning, but it will
conserve you even more in the long run. Not enough insulation in attics allows
warmth to rise and also from your house, forcing your furnace to operate more
often in an effort to keep your home cozy.
Run ceiling fans in reverse
Reversing your ceiling fan is an easy way that you can help your furnace run easier. Many
ceiling fans include a switch that reverses the direction of the blades.
Counterclockwise rotation makes cooling breezes while switching to clockwise makes it warmer. Air
pooled near the roof is circulated back in to the residing room.
Seal those ducts
Studies show that 10 to 30 % of heated or cooled air escapes through your ducting system.
Select a professional specialist to come out as well as
test your channel platforms and also mend any complications. Appropriately
sealing ducts can conserve the average residence approximately $140 every year.
If you have any questions you can always call Hays Sheet Metal, Heating at 913-367-2294 and speak with our experienced technicians.
Do you feel the chill in the air? It will be time to start your furnace soon, if you haven't already. Now is the ideal time to start preparing for a furnace replacement if you are needing to do so. Replacing a furnace represents a large expense, one most homeowners only make a few times in their lives. Because it's a rare purchase, it makes sense to do your homework to get the best system for your home, your money and your future. So before the cold fronts blow in, let's examine what you need to know in order to make a good
Furnaces should match the size and heating needs of a home. A mismatch can cause heating
issues. Furnaces too small for a space get overworked and won't heat a home as
well, while furnaces that are too large waste energy, wear out quicker and tend
to overheat homes.
An experienced HVAC company can calculate your heating needs using industry standards taking into account your home's size, the age of your home and the climate of the area in which you live.
A furnace replacement presents the opportunity to lower energy costs by choosing a
furnace that is more efficient. These furnaces may cost more up front, but pay off in the long run through lower energy bills.
Look for Energy Star-rated furnaces with high annual fuel utilization efficiency
(AFUE) ratings. The higher the AFUE number, the more efficient the furnace. More
efficient systems often qualify for various tax credits as well.
Check Your Ducts
When replacing your furnace, you might also want to consider your duct work. The furnace
and ducts work together to move air efficiently through your home to heat it
comfortably and adequately. The right size and right design can enhance the
efficiency of a new furnace.
Furnace replacement can make your home more comfortable and save money. Do your homework
in advance to make sure you get the right system in place before the cold
weather sets in. Contact us today for more information on finding the
right furnace for your home.
the weather becomes chillier, it is essential to know how to work your furnace.
With the fluctuating temperatures and unpredictable cold days, you will feel
comfortable knowing you have the background and expertise to warm your house
when necessary. Follow these steps on how to turn on your gas furnace.
1.) First, find the breaker that connects to your furnace. Typically, it is found on
the electrical panel for the house. You’ll likely know where this is- it could
be in the attic, basement, utility room, or other room. You will want to change
the breaker switch that connects to your furnace to the “on” position.
Next, find the furnace switch. This may be tricky to find, so consult your
furnace owner’s manual, since all models are different. Typically though,
furnace switches are in your basement, near the ceiling, or on the furnace
itself. Once you find this switch, turn it on as well.
If your furnace does not have an electrical start, turn the furnace pilot light
on. To do this, first, clear any excess gas by turning the pilot light to the
off position. Next, turn it to “pilot” in order to prepare the light. If you see
a red pilot button, hold it down. If a red pilot light is not present, push the
valve control slightly in to release the gas, then use a long lighter to start
it. Once it has been lit, move the valve to the “on” position.
Finally, set the temperature and thermostat in your house. Make sure it is set
to “heat”, and that you have it set to your desired temperature.
Determine around which date you might want to turn your furnace off, and set
this date on your calendar. This way, you will not have to use heat longer than
Give yourself enough time to learn how to turn on your furnace for the first time. Be
patient, and remember that it will always be easier the next time. If you have
any problems with turning a furnace on, call a professional, and they will
either be able to guide you through the process or help you at your
Make sure your home is ready for your upcoming vacation. In addition to making sure your home is as safe as possible while it is unoccupied, your home needs to be ready physically, to handle itself on its own. Here are some guidelines for
safety and physical home readiness:
Be as safe as possible when leaving. Alert at least one neighbor you trust of
your absence, and if possible, ask if they can keep watch over your home at
least once a day. Signs like piled up newspapers or overflowing mail may tip off
thieves that no one is at home. Ask your neighbor if he or she can take care of
these items for you until you return. Also, if you will be away for an extended
period, you may want to alert your local police station. They may go out of
their way during their normal neighborhood watch to make sure your house is
safe, and be on alert in case anything looks suspicious. Finally, avoid
voicemail or e-mail messages in which you announce that you will be on
As for the heating and cooling in your home, avoid
using the air conditioner, as that can quickly accumulate in costs. Instead,
actually turn up your heat to around 80 degrees. Turning up the heat will also
help protect the plants and furniture in your home.
In regards to plumbing in your home, turn off the main valve, unless certain
household appliances need to be on during the time that you are away. If you
have an indoor or outdoor pool, keep water running to it so the pool stays fresh
and avoids algae accumulation. Also, examine your water heater and
determine if there is a “vacation mode,” which many newer models contain. In
your toilets, pour about 1/3 of a cup of chlorine in the bowl to help ward off
For the lights at your home, you may want to consider investing in a light
timer, which automatically turns on and off lights in your house during certain
hours of the day, according to a schedule you set. This light schedule may make
it seem like someone is actually in your home, which may help ward off
Preparing your home may seem like a lot of work, but when you return, you will be happy to
come back to a clean and prepared living environment. After you are finished
getting your home ready, relax and have a great vacation!
Hotter temperatures are expected in many areas this week which means that your
air conditioner is going to be working hard 24/7 to keep you comfortable. These
tips will help your air conditioner running efficiently and provide optimum cooling power throughout this late summer heat wave,
Schedule your tune-up
If you haven’t already had preventive maintenance on your air conditioner this
year, it’s not too late to reap the benefits of having one done. These include:
Higher system efficiency
Lower cooling cost
Increased cooling power
Extend the operating life of your system
Prevent some of the most common AC problems later
in the summer
Ensure optimum air flow
Proper air flow is essential to keeping your system operating efficiently and
maintaining a high level of comfort. There are things you can do to help!
Inspect your air filter monthly and replace it when it’s
Hose down your outdoor
compressor unit monthly to remove dirt and debris that can hamper air flow
Keep obstructions away from your
return and supply registers.
Keep heat out
The more heat in your home, the harder your system must work to remove it, raising
your energy costs and lowering your comfort level.
appliances like your oven and clothes dryer after the sun goes down.
Keep your window shades closed
during the day to lessen the amount of heat that your home builds up.
Seal air leaks in your home to
keep warm air out and cool air in.
Seal loose joints and cracks in
your ductwork with metal tape or mastic. Insulate ducts in unconditioned areas
such as the attic and crawlspaces.
Use ceiling fans or portable
fans to help you feel cooler; be sure to turn them off when you leave the room
to save on electricity.
Don’t perform tasks that result in your body putting off more heat,
such as housecleaning or hopping on the treadmill, during the heat of the
We are often asked by our customers, "How can I save money on my home energy bills?” Saving money on your energy costs can be done easily by following several step. First it means scheduling timely tune-ups on your AC and Furnace as well
as scheduling an AC service before summer. This ensures that your AC system
is clean and functioning properly, which means your system will use less energy
An immediate step you can take to save money on your energy bills is to install a programmable thermostat in your home. A programmable thermostat will allow you the ability to adjust the times your air
conditioner turns on or off according to a pre-set schedule.
ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Programmable Thermostats
By following ENERGY STAR guidelines for programmable thermostat use, you can
save about $180 every year in energy costs—this helps you reduce your energy
bills and enjoy a more comfortable home. Here are ENERGY STAR’s
1. It is advisable to keep the temperature set at its energy savings
set-points for long periods of time—at least eight hours—like during the day,
when no one is at home, and throughout the night, after bedtime.
2. All thermostats let you temporarily make an area of your home warmer or
cooler without erasing the pre-set programming. This override is cancelled
automatically at the next program period. You actually use more energy (and pay
more on your energy bills) if you consistently “hold” or override the
pre-programmed settings—so avoid this as much as possible!
3. Programmable thermostats generally have two types of hold features:
hold/permanent/vacation and temporary. ENERGY STAR recommends avoiding the use
of the hold/permanent/vacation feature to manage day-to-day temperature
settings. This is best used when you’re planning to be away for an extended
period. Set this feature at a constant, efficient temperature when going away
for the weekend or on vacation (perhaps to Ocean City, MD!).
4. Cranking your unit to extreme temperatures—40 degrees in the summer or 90
degrees during the winter—will not cool or heat your home any faster. All it
does is consume more energy, and ENERGY STAR recommends avoiding this if you
want to save money.
5. If your home has multiple heating or cooling zones, you should use a
programmed setback thermostat for each zone to maximize comfort, convenience,
and energy savings throughout the house.
Following these easy steps should allow you to see some relief on your energy bills. Call our office at 913-367-2294 for more information on installing a programmable thermostat.
Most people tend to believe that the air they are breathe inside their own homes is pretty clean and safe to breathe. What they don't realize is that this may be far from the case. It just isn't something they stop to think about. Many homes across the country have indoor air quality issues most often caused by pollutants that can cause very serious health ailments. Here are some things you will want to consider.
Think about some common pollutants, are they in your home?
There are a variety of pollutants that can affect the air quality inside your home . Biological pollutants among which pollen and dust mites, are the most common sources of air pollution inside your home. Tobacco smoke, which contains a number of substances that are in fact poisonous to humans, is also a very common contributor to air
quality problems. Other, less common, contaminants that can pollute the air are radon, a
radioactive gas, and asbestos, a mineral found in some construction building
Indoor Air Quality and Your Health
Indoor air pollution, in some cases, can cause mild to severe health problems. When exposed to
irritants like dust mites or mold spores, people often develop allergy symptoms
such as sneezing and coughing. While these are not usually considered to be serious, these symptoms do sometimes require medical treatment if they persist or worsen. Other contaminants, such as
radon and asbestos, can lead to more serious health ailments, like Lung Cancer.
You Can Improve The Air Quality In Your Home
If you think the air quality in your home is poor, it’s very important to make improvements as fast as
possible. The first step that you need to take is identify and remove the
pollutant from your home. Afterwards, you should talk to an air conditioning
company and have them clean your air ducts and inspect your HVAC system for any
problems. Following these steps will improve the air quality in your home,
allowing you to breathe healthily again.
The summer months are hot and there is nothing worse than when your air conditioner breaks down when you need it most. While this sometimes this is unavoidable, it can usually be prevented by maintaining your AC system regularly.Just like a car, your AC system needs regular maintenance to perform its best. With this in mind, here are some of the ways you can take care of your air conditioner this summer:
Change Your Filter
The air filter in your HVAC system traps dirt, dust and debris that can enter the air in your home and cause health problems. You need to change it out regularly to ensure that it can continue to do this job properly. A clogged filter can cause severe problems not only to your air quality but the function of your AC system. To perform this basic procedure, all you have to do is remove the old filter, put a new filter in, and close up the filter compartment. A good rule of thumb to follow is to try to replace the filter about every month in the summer or whenever the filter looks dirty.
Clean Your Air Ducts and Inspect Them
Over time, dust and debris can get trapped in the air ducts that run throughout your home. Again, this can and will affect the air quality in your home. Air ducts that become clogged can make your HVAC system work harder than it should. It is easy to then guess the problems this will create when you overwork your HVAC system. To avoid these issues, you should have your air ducts cleaned out by a professional. This simple maintenance tip will help keep your air conditioner working efficiently through the warm weather season.
Think About Maintenance Around the Outside Unit
In the summer, plants can grow too close to the outside air conditioning unit. In an effort to hide the unit or in general improve their yards appearance many homeowners will plant flowers, trees and shrubs without thought to their HVAC unit. Planting plants too close or allowing them to become overgrown will cause it to perform less effectively. When this happens your HVAC system runs less efficiently and you might see an increase in your electric bills. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that all plants are trimmed back or planted at least three feet from the unit. This will also aid in the service of your HVAC system when your technician comes out. If leaves or other debris have gathered around the unit, these should be cleaned up as well.
We hope this tips will help in the you in maintaining your HVAC system this summer. Give Hays Heating and Cooling call if you have any questions or are needing a routine summer maintenance of your home HVAC system at 913-367-2294.
Sometimes it seems like our homes are constantly needing some improvement. Just as soon as you get one part of the house just like you want it, something needs tending to in another area. So, for most of us, we’re always on the lookout for the next big thing that’s going to show up – invited or not – on our “home maintenance” to-do list.
Now, when “air conditioning system replacement” comes up on that list, that’s quite a significant situation. Home comfort systems are a sizeable part of your home investment, so it’s never something to take lightly. But when it’s time, three things should be on your evaluation list:
System Age – If your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, you could save up to 20 percent on cooling and heating costs if you replaced it with a unit that has earned the Energy Star label.
Repair/Energy Costs – A home comfort system has what’s called “operational” costs. If your system is racking up repair bills and guzzling up your energy dollars, you may be overdue for an efficiency upgrade.
Uncomfortable Environment – A home comfort system is supposed to create a comfortable home environment, right? Well, if you’re not comfortable, take note. Are some rooms too hot or too cold? Does your home have humidity problems?This could be a sign of poor or improper equipment operation.
can provide expert advice on whether now is the best time to replace your air conditioning system.